Identification of most common butterflies can be done by close observation. For some of the smaller ones, taking photographs and analysing them may be required . Some of the skippers may require scientific examination to confirm the ids.
Observing the following aspects would be important to correctly identify a butterfly :
- Location of sighting
- Type of habitat
- Weather conditions
- Time of the day
- Size of the butterfly
- Colour of wings and body
- Type of antennae
- Shape of the wings – including tails
- Marks / spots on the wings (both up and under)
- Behaviour observed (wing position while perched, basking, nectaring, mud puddling etc.)
- Flight pattern
- Presence of larval host plants (LHP)
PROCESS FOR IDENTIFICATION
First try to identify the family to which the butterfly belongs to. This can be done easily once a little familiarity is gained. The next step would be to identify the subfamily. To further go down to the individual species checking id keys and comparing with reference images and analysing other available information would be required. With most species, other than skippers (Hesperiidae) this should work, with some practice and experience. Skippers may require deeper study and guidance.
Once the above methods are exhausted and clear identification has not been achieved, reaching out to fellow enthusiasts and experts through Facebook or similar channels may be required.
HOW TO IDENTIFY SOME COMMON BUTTERFLIES ? : VIDEOS
The following three videos would give pointers to identification of blues, skippers and common butterflies of Karnataka.